Jamaica Festival Song History: Reviewing the First Decade 1966 to 1970

The Jamaica Festival Song competition has been a long standing replica of Jamaica’s heritage in music. Every year songwriteras and singers try to win the coveted prize and make their mark in history. When you listen to some of the songs from back in the day, they certainly teleport you to a different and more richer period in time.

In our previous article, Jamaica 50, Festival Song History And Controversy, we looked at the Jamaica Festival Songs of the last 50 years, since the competitions inception. Now in this article, let us review the lyrics and listen to some of the songs from the first decade. These songs include:

  • 1966 – The Maytals with “Bam Bam”
  • 1967 – The Jamaicans with “Ba Ba Boom”
  • 1968 – Desmond Dekker & The Aces with “Music Like Dirt”
  • 1969 – The Maytals with “Sweet and Dandy”
  • 1970 – Hopeton Lewis with “Boom Shaka Laka”

1966 – The Maytals with “Bam Bam”
Lyrics from: http://www.elyrics.net/

I want you to know that I am the man
Who fight for the right, not for the wrong
Going there, I’m growing there
Helping the weak against the strong

Soon you will find out the man
I’m supposed to be

Help this man
And don’t trouble no man
But if you used to trouble that man
It will bring a bam bam

What a bam bam, bam bam
See that? Bam bam
(It will bring a bam bam)
Can you see that?

Ah
(It will bring a bam bam)
What a bam bam
(What a bam bam)
Can you see that?
(What a bam bam)
[..]

Hear what I say
(What a bam bam)
Yeah hey
(What a bam bam)
(What a bam bam)
(What a bam bam)

This man, I don’t trouble no man
He know you go to nourish man
This man, don’t trouble no man
This man is friend and is trying to trouble no man

That’s if you trouble this man
It going to bring a
Going to bring a bam bam
Get a bam bam
Get a bam bam
Get a bam bam

I say, what a bam bam
I say, what a bam bam
What a bam bam
I say, what a bam bam

1967 – The Jamaicans with “Ba Ba Boom”
Lyrics from: http://www.maxilyrics.com/

Everybody get ready
It’s time to rocksteady
It’s ba ba boom, yes it is

Don’t lose the beat, now
Just dip your head, now
It’s festival fire, listen here

You hear the people saying
Boom boom, ba ba boom boom
Boom boom festival
Boom boom, ba ba boom boom
Boom boom festival
Boom boom, ba ba boom boom
Boom boom festival
Boom boom, ba ba boom boom

People are dancing
Teenagers romancing
It’s ba ba boom time, listen here
Freddie get ready
Come do the rocksteady
It’s ba ba boom time, listen here

You hear the people saying
Boom boom, ba ba boom boom
Boom boom festival
Boom boom, ba ba boom boom
Boom boom festival
Boom boom, ba ba boom boom
Boom boom festival
Boom boom, ba ba boom boom

People are dancing
Teenagers romancing
It’s ba ba boom time, listen here
Freddie get ready
Come do the rocksteady
It’s festival fire, listen here

You hear the children saying
Boom boom, ba ba boom boom
Boom boom festival
Boom boom, ba ba boom boom

1968 – Desmond Dekker & The Aces with “Music Like Dirt”
Lyrics from: http://www.ildb.info/

we’re having a party I hope you are hearty
we’re having a party I hope you are hearty
sing it to me children
rom bomp a loo bomp bomp bomp ballooey
rom bomp a loo bomp bomp intensify
music like dirt for your money’s worth
music like dirt for your money’s worth
sing it to me children
rom bomp a loo bomp bomp bomp balooey
rom bomp a loo bomp bomp intensify
girls like sand to match every man
girls like sand to match every man
sing it to me children
rom bomp a loo bomp bomp bomp balooey
rom bomp a loo bomp bomp intensify
Oh, girls can’t hide from intensified guys
music that stays on for extra days
intensified boys with thoughts full of joy
intensified girls with their fancy clothes
sing it to me children
rom bomp a loo bomp bomp bomp balooey
rom bomp a loo bomp bomp intensify

1969 – The Maytals with “Sweet and Dandy”
Lyrics from: http://www.lyricsmode.com/

Etty in the room a cry
Mama say she must wipe her eye
Papa say she no fi foolish
Like she never been to school at all

It is no wonder
It’s a perfect pander
While they were dancing
In that bar room last night

Johnson in the room afret
Uncle say he must hold up him head
Aunty say she no fi foolish
Like a no time fi him wedding day

It is no wonder
It’s a perfect pander
While they were dancing
In that bar room last night

One pound ten for the wedding cake
And plenty bottle of cola wine
All the people them dress up in a white
Fi go eat out Johnson wedding cake

It is no wonder
It’s a perfect pander
While they were dancing
In that bar room last night

(rept above)

Well, there was sweet and dandy
Sweet and dandy
Sweet and dandy
Sweet and dandy

Sweet and dandy
Sweet and dandy
Sweet and dandy

1970 – Hopeton Lewis with “Boom Shaka Laka”
Lyrics from:
Hopeton Lewis lyrics are not posted, but you may hear his song here.

 

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